Currently I am having the opportunity to do lots of hanging out in the hospital. As much as everything has changed, there’s one thing that stays the same: You can get NO rest in the hospital! In this hospital, there is a bright pink paper with the message that rounds are made every hour. You know, the part where they wake you up to see if you’re sleeping? To take your vitals, etc. But there are some good changes made since the last time I had any experience with hospitals, besides all those that involve technology. In the patient room is a whiteboard on the wall, where with every shift change, the RN, Tech, and charge nurse assigned to you, write their names and pager numbers. Quite convenient, I must say. When IVs run out, the machine beeps until it is changed or stopped. The room where we are spending so much time is quite large with a private bath, and since we are on the eighth floor, quite a view of the downtown area of Fort Worth. Actually, that view is best at night when all the lights of the city are shining brightly.
In order to try and placate my low threshold for boredom, I am bringing a piece or two to do the finish work on during breaks from reading and watching cable (which I don’t have at home). All of this happens between the hourly rounds and helping the patient. I have also learned that taking advantage of the valet service is the way to go, so that I can take my “toys” up to the room without walking from the parking garage.
I learned long ago when my daughter was hospitalized with a serious case of pneumonia, everyone needs an advocate. Doctors come by when the patient is sleeping and can’t focus on whatever the doc is saying. Some special task needs to be met and the patient is too tired or sick to request it. Not long ago, I actually heard a doctor speak about patient advocates. He said, as sad as it may be, the patient who has someone asking about the test that was supposed to be done at 2:00 and it’s now 5:00, is more likely to receive better care.
If we’re lucky, we all have an advocate in our lives. That person who encourages you, boosts your morale, is honest about your work or anything else where a good dose of honesty is needed, whether it involves appreciation or criticism. That person who supports your efforts, who appreciates you. And if we’re really lucky, we have several advocates in our life.
Now—back to my book ….